Counselor education, counselor development, meditation, stress, emotional intelligence


Previous research has found meditation to be effective in reducing practitioner stress, improving emotional functioning, and increasing pro-social emotions, such as empathy and compassion. In addition, research examining the effects of meditation on student counselors has shown that it increases counselor self-efficacy, reduces distress, and increases cognitive empathy. Therefore, it behooves counselor educators to discover methods of integrating meditation into counselor training. The meditation practice investigated in the current study is new to the counseling and psychology literature. The majority of the current research has examined transcendental and mindfulness-based practices. However, recent research has shown that spirituality has the ability to potentiate meditation. Jyoti mediation (JM), the practice used in this study, is a spiritually based practice used for spiritual and personal growth for over 500 years. This study examined whether student counselors, after participating in a JM group, would have a significantly different level of emotional intelligence, stress and daily spiritual experiences than a comparison group who received a psycho-educational curriculum. Moreover, I investigated if the frequency of meditation related to the treatment outcomes. I conducted a six week randomized controlled trial where participants (n = 60) completed self-report assessments on the first, third and sixth week of the intervention. In addition, the participants in the meditation condition were asked to complete a daily journal reporting their experiences with the meditation treatment and their frequency of practice. Participants were required to meditate once a week in the group, and requested to meditate at least ten additional minutes each day. In order to analyze the data, I conducted a repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (RM-MANOVA). The RM-MANOVA revealed no significant difference between the two groups. However, because the range of time spent meditating was so wide, I conducted a second RM-MANOVA using only participants that meditated in group and an additional 60 minutes over the six weeks. The second RM-MANOVA approached significance in the main effects (p = .06); and revealed a significant univariate between group effect for stress. Likewise, I conducted two Pearson moment correlations to investigate the relationship between the study outcomes and meditation frequency. The first correlation revealed no significant relationship between meditation frequency and any of the independent. However, the second correlational analysis revealed a significant relationship between stress and meditation frequency. Also, both correlational analyses revealed a significant relationship between stress and emotional intelligence. In order to gain a better understanding of how the independent variables effected stress over time, I conducted a growth curve analysis (GCA). I used PROC Mixed in SAS and nested the measurement points into each individual. The GCA revealed significant non-trivial variance between individuals at initial status. In addition, the GCA revealed that emotional intelligence accounted for 27% of that variance, and when controlling for emotional intelligence there is a significant interaction between time and group. The implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.


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Graduation Date





Young, Mark


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Counselor Education








Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic